3 Feb 2012

PNG sinking site known as rough ocean zone

11:29 am on 3 February 2012

The area of ocean off the coast of Papua New Guinea where a ferry sank yesterday morning is known to be notorious for rough weather.

About 100 people, mostly tertiary students, are missing after the Rabaul Queen sank between Kimbe on the island of New Britain and the mainland city of Lae.

238 survivors have so far been rescued thanks to a number of ocean liners that were in the vicinity.

Our correspondent Oseah Philemon says the area where the ferry sank has a reputation for rough seas.

"The area is very notorious, it is notorious for rough seas and boating accidents over many years. And around about this time we've got these north west winds coming through and that's brought about a lot of rough seas in the area."

Oseah Philemon says questions have been raised about the safety record of the Rabaul Shipping Company in the past.